The Founders Story
By Ashok Khanna
Ananda, Founder & Managing Director
Born into an eminent family of hoteliers, hotels were in my blood. My formative years were spent with the Oberoi Group of hotels where I got to learn deeply about classic luxury and an unyielding commitment to detail. India at the time was still a closed economy and the landscape was very different to what it is today. The hospitality market was monopolized by a few domestic brands- The Oberoi and the Taj, being the most prominent. As the economy opened up and competition started to grow across all industries, stress levels began to rise dramatically and people started to lose sight of life’s balance. I envisioned that in the years to come people would need a different kind of hotel, one which would not just provide the services and facilities which luxury hotels in India did so well but would also assist people on a journey to personal health, wellness and rejuvenation. That is when, in the year 1989, the seed for Ananda was planted.
I traveled the length and breadth of India searching for the location that would embody the soul of Ananda, a location that would bring Ananda to life. I finally found this in the foothills of the Himalayas, the birthplace of Yoga, where people have visited for centuries to be healed and to find rest and rejuvenation.
There was a lot of work to be done before Ananda would come into being. In India a “spa” meant different things to different people. However, I wanted Ananda to mean one thing only- holistic wellness for the mind body and soul. Many elements would need to come together seamlessly to make this a success. Together with my wife Neelam, we began to piece together the pillars of Ananda which are – Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedanta (a philosophy of life). Another vital aspect is the cuisine - Our ancesters believed that the way and what we eat largely contributes to a healthy life, and is an important part of wellness. We adapted the concept of traditional ayurvedic food (food for your body type) so that the same could be accomplished with International cuisines as well. All this, combined with the wellness traditions of other parts of Asia and the west, is our recipe for Ananda’s holistic wellness.
The last and most important element essential to Ananda’s being are its people. Each and every member of the staff needed to understand, imbibe and live by the Ananda philosophy and we were lucky to find them. They are the single most important reason for Ananda’s success.
Ananda opened its doors in 2001 and has since received numerous awards and worldwide recognition. It remains at the forefront of innovation in health and wellness and strives to constantly improve. Ananda has accomplished exactly as Neelam and I had envisioned by changing lifestyles and assisting guests on a path to personal wellbeing. It has done so for both of us and it will do the same for anyone who walks through its doors.
Ananda In The Himalayas
The Palace Estate, Narendra Nagar Tehri - Garhwal, Uttaranchal - 249175, INDIA
0800 hrs to 2300 hrs Indian Standard Time
India Toll Free: 1800 102 5333, From Outside India: +91 124 4516650
From 2300 hrs to 0800 hrs Indian Standard Time
Within India and from Outside India : +91 1378 227500